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RTPI South East: Lewes brewery transformation into major arts venue wins top award

24 November 2017

Lewes Depot Cinema Credit South Downs National Park Authority

The transformation of a former brewery in Lewes into a major arts venue - with a cinema, restaurant and education facilities – has won a top regional planning award.

The venue, known as ‘Depot, Lewes Community Screen’ is on the former Harvey’s Brewery depot, a prominent location close to Lewes railway station – it was crowned the overall winner at last night’s RTPI South East Awards for Planning Excellence.

The previously vacant site is in a prominent, sensitive location within Lewes Conservation Area and surrounded by numerous listed buildings which has been sensitively redeveloped to provide a new community cinema with a café/bar, restaurant and film education and training facilities.

The redevelopment – undertaken by Burrell Foley Fischer and the South Downs National Park Authority – also includes new green infrastructure including an orchard, wild flower garden and landscaping.

Sue Percy MRTPI, Chair of the RTPI South East Judges Panel said:

“Through good planning practice and early community engagement the development was not only shaped by, but helped build, public support for the project resulting in an amazing community facility that locals and visitors will use, experience and be proud of for many years to come.”

A travel plan, community minibus, public transport discounts and pedestrian maps were also developed to minimise the impact of additional traffic in the area.

The full list of winners and commended entries from the RTPI South East Awards are:

Excellence in Planning for the Innovative Delivery of Infrastructure

East Bank, River Arun – Littlehampton (LDA Design, Environment Agency, and Arun District Council)

Excellence in Planning for Heritage

Depot, Lewes Community Screen (South Downs National Park Authority and Burrell Foley Fischer LLP)

Excellence in Planning to Deliver Housing

Bransgore Affordable Housing Scheme (New Forest National Park Authority)

Excellence in Planning for the Natural Environment

Wootton Riverine Woodland Wetland Restoration Scheme (Mott MacDonald Ltd)

Young Planner of the Year

Reece Lemon


  • Newport Pagnell Neighbourhood Plan (Newport Pagnell Town Council)
  • Guildford Town Centre (Guildford Borough Council and Allies & Morrison Urban Practitioners)
  • Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls (Mott MacDonald Ltd)
  • Caesar Court (HTA Design LLP, Orbit Homes, and Kent County Council)
  • Louisburg Barracks (Homes and Communities Agency)

The awards were announced at a ceremony in the Brighton Pavilion on 23 November.

More information: RTPI South East

View: photos from the ceremony

Image: South Downs National Park Authority